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Enterprise Rent-a-Car Continues to Get Greener With Coda Electrics

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On: Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 3:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Enterprise Rent-a-Car Continues to Get Greener With Coda Electrics

The Coda electric car might not be as well-publicized or anticipated as the Nissan Leaf, but the car will appear alongside the Leaf at Enterprise rental outlets in select states. In a continued effort to distinguish itself as a more eco-friendly car rental operation, and to give its customers access to new EVs, Enterprise announced that it will be adding a fleet of 100 Codas by next year.

Enterprise has not made a final determination as to what markets will get the 100 Coda EVs. Coda is set to launch its vehicles in California sometime next year, and Enterprise plans to make California a market for Coda rentals. What cities in California and what other areas will be added remains an unknown, though Columbus, Ohio has been speculated as one possible market.

A relatively unhyped electric vehicle, Coda comes from California-based start-up Coda Automotive. The electric cars feature a 134-hp electric motor. The company uses a unique 33.8 kWh lithium-iron phosphate battery that provides a different look from the lithium-ion batteries that are more common among EVs and hybrids. Range varies between 90 and 120 miles, and a battery management system displays projected ranges based on driving conditions (traffic, aggressive driving, and open-road cruising). Not likely to be particularly popular with Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts to compete with, the Coda will carry a base price of $44,900, well more expensive than either the Volt or Leaf. It offers far less of a range than a Volt and a comparable range to a Leaf.

Over the summer, Enterprise also announced plans to put 500 Nissan Leaf models in its fleet. Those models will be going to markets including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Nashville, and Seattle by the end of next year.

Since those who rent EVs are unlikely to have their own charging units (the Coda takes six hours to charge on a 220-volt power supply), Enterprise will install charging stations at all rental locations that offer EVs. The company is also anticipating help from The EV Project, a federally-funded program designed to put a public charging infrastructure in place. All of the launch cities for the Nissan Leaf rentals are covered under The EV Project.


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